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  • How can I test a power supply?

    Happy holidays, everyone!

    Mine aren't, unfortunately, as I continue in the saga of the RMA.

    (tl;dr summary: I've upgraded my CPU, motherboard, RAM, and OS, and have been having random freeze issues ever since. I've tested the RAM, RMAed both the mobo and the CPU, and here I am, with the same problems continuing)

    Acreo Aeneas suggested the issue might be with a dying PSU. Unfortunately, it's the only PSU I have with the right connectors, so I can't just swap it out. (Fairly sure my other PSU would be underpowered for this machine, anyway)

    So, is there any way to test the PSU, to make sure it's still performing properly? I have a multimeter and am only somewhat noobish when it comes to electric circuits.

    Thanks!




    Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
    --BlackMirror
    <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
    Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
    --Blackraven93

  • #2
    Re: How can I test a power supply?

    As for testing the PSU's voltages to make sure they are correct (as in within the range of +/- 5%), you have two options:

    Option 1: Use a multimeter to do the testing (see: Power Supply Test with Multimeter)

    Option 2: Buy and use a power supply tester. In most cases these units only cost around $20-$40. They are relatively cheap and a bit faster than testing it by hand using a multimeter and doesn't require much knowledge beforehand to use.

    If either of these options gives you a pass for your PSU, the other issue is making sure it can handle it's rated load. That's a whole other beast as most review sites who do a complete load test on PSUs usually have some fancy setup that lets them monitor voltages and such while putting on various loads onto each rail and so forth.

    The other problem I see is that since you have a older Antec Earthwatts PSU, I'm afraid yours might have been during the time where Antec's PSUs experienced a rash of bad capacitors. Although these bad caps were supposedly restricted to their NeoPower lineup of PSUs (~2006), it could be possible it also affected the other Antec lineups.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How can I test a power supply?

      Cheb, you're saying your computer freezes? As in a BSOD? Or just the screen freezes and the computer locks up, but the image is still on the screen? Usually a dying PSU doesn't cause your computer to freeze or lock up, it usually just reboots your machine or shuts it off unexpectedly. What kind of PSU is it and what wattage?

      Sounds like you've already ruled out your motherboard, your cpu and your RAM. What about your video card? What kind is it, how old is it, etc? Also what are you running for an operating system?
      "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How can I test a power supply?

        Originally posted by VoodooIT View Post
        Cheb, you're saying your computer freezes? As in a BSOD? Or just the screen freezes and the computer locks up, but the image is still on the screen? Usually a dying PSU doesn't cause your computer to freeze or lock up, it usually just reboots your machine or shuts it off unexpectedly. What kind of PSU is it and what wattage?

        Sounds like you've already ruled out your motherboard, your cpu and your RAM. What about your video card? What kind is it, how old is it, etc? Also what are you running for an operating system?
        I've had:

        BSODs with kernel dump and automatic reboot (as opposed to your garden variety BSODs)
        Total freezes -- I use a G15 keyboard, and its LCD also froze (but didn't shut off), so I know it's not just the display or the GPU.

        The PSU is a roughly three year old Antec EarthWatts 500W, which came bundled with the Antec Sonata III.

        The GPU is about a year old, and is an XFX 4850 HD.

        Oh, forgot to mention: The built-in monitoring tools show the voltages as being well within the tolerances, certainly less than a 5% deviation. But then, that's not under load.

        Full specs, actually, just in case I'm missing something obvious from all the mucking around I've done.
        -----------------------
        PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W
        Mobo: MSI 870A-G54
        CPU: Athlon II X3 445, not OCed, not core-unlocked, with stock fan
        RAM: 2X2GB OCZ3SOE1600LV2G DDR3 sticks
        GPU: XFX 4850 HD
        HDD1: OCZ Vertex 64GB SSD
        HDD2: Seagate ST3400833AS SATA300 drive
        HDD3: Seagate ST3250824A ATA100 drive

        USB peripherals
        1 4-port hub (with external power supply)
        1 wireless mouse adapter
        1 G15 keyboard (which, I imagine, draws more than a normal keyboard, to power the LCD)
        -----------------------

        Acreo Aeneas, I'm going to give the multimeter approach a try. Given that a reasonable PSU replacement would run me around $60-$80, I don't want to also spend up to half that on a tool I'm unlikely to need again soon, if ever.

        But first, memtest86+. Again. Just in case.




        Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
        --BlackMirror
        <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
        Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
        --Blackraven93

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How can I test a power supply?

          Welp... Given the slew of errors memtest86+ just threw my way, I may have located the problem




          Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
          --BlackMirror
          <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
          Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
          --Blackraven93

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How can I test a power supply?

            Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
            Welp... Given the slew of errors memtest86+ just threw my way, I may have located the problem
            Err, I thought Memtest came back clean with the old board?
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How can I test a power supply?

              So did I... I may have just run stress testing with the sticks in different slots, rather than memtest them. It all blends together by this point.




              Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
              --BlackMirror
              <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
              Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
              --Blackraven93

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How can I test a power supply?

                nice, hopefully that's it. i know how much of a pain it is to troubleshoot computer instability
                "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



                Comment

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